Facebook best practices

They’ve got their backs turned for a reason. If your fans have been ignoring your posts because they’re boring, filled with errors, or not relevant, it’s time you learned how to write the type of status updates that grab attention and encourage regular engagement.

Dammit. It’s happened again. In fact, it’s happened ever since you created your Facebook Fan Page – and you’re mighty tired of it, aren’t you? Tired of wasting your precious time carefully crafting status updates that don’t get read. Tired of eagerly anticipating all the likes and comments your latest post is going to get only to be met with a whole lotta nothing.

And the funny cat memes you steal from Google Images to go with your updates? No one is liking those either – and everyone likes cat memes.

So what the hell is going on?

Well, obviously your fans hate you. Just kidding. First of all, they wouldn’t have become a fan of your page to begin with if they didn’t already like, or at least want to know more about, your company.

Now it’s just up to you to give the people what they want, because clearly, you haven’t been. ‘A’ for effort, but now it’s time to dig deeper and write the type of awesome Facebook status updates that your target audience wants to read and will actively engage with.

Let’s get started!

The basics: How to enhance the quality of your posts

Let’s be honest: Crap posts get crap engagement. If you’re giving the minimum when it comes to social media marketing, you’re going to get the minimum back — and that’s if you’re lucky.

Think about it: Would you like or comment on a post if it was rambling, riddled with errors, or just flat-out boring? Of course you wouldn’t… and you shouldn’t expect your fans to either. If you want to write better Facebook status updates, it all starts with the basics.

  • Loosen up your tie. Facebook is a platform that allows for personal, informal interaction, so if you’ve been speaking to your fans in a stuffy, corporate tone, it’s no wonder their eyes have been glazing over. Make your posts fun and talk to your audience like you would a friend. Say ‘you’ rather than referring to your fans as ‘customers’ or ‘clients’ in your content.
  • Take pride in your work. Write your updates in Word (or another trusty program with a spell-checker) so you can be alerted of errors prior to posting to Facebook. Yes, this is an extra step but it shouldn’t add more than maybe a minute or so to this task — and it’ll help keep your business looking credible. Even with a spell-check program, you still need to do a quick proofread to catch anything the program might’ve missed. You should also always double check any links you’ve included in your update to ensure they work and go to the right place.
  • Say a lot with a little. Long content loses readers, so keep it short, and if you’re including a link, make sure it appears at the front of your content rather than the end. Social Media Examiner suggests 100 characters or fewer.
  • Resist the temptation to shorten. You might think shortened links look better, because they really kinda do, but it’s not advised to use them on Facebook. “A recent study by Buddy Media found that engagement rates were three times higher for Facebook posts that use a full-length URL, rather than a link generated by a URL shortener like bit.ly,” says Social Media Examiner. This is because when a link is shortened, users have no idea where it’s going to take them, which can look suspicious and a little spammy.

Creating posts: How to keep your fans engaged

Maybe your fans ignore your posts because all of them look the same. Or maybe they ignore them because they’re not relevant to your business, which sends a confusing message. Either way, something’s gotta change!

Check out these tips for creating the type of Facebook status updates that your target audience will love:

Spice things up with an image
Facebook status updates

Adding an image to this post scored Stinkin’ Cute Designs not only some great engagement, but fantastic exposure for their children’s clothing line.

All-text posts are okay sometimes, but it’s important you don’t overlook the power images can have on Facebook.

Fans connect with brands very well through images, whether they’re funny, inspirational, or promotional, they’re a necessary part of any great Facebook marketing plan.

Stinkin’ Cute Designs, a local business that sells children’s clothing, uses images to promote their latest and upcoming designs. In the image above, they’re showing one of their newest designs for fall while highlighting their ability to customize it with your child’s name. As you can see, adding an image helped encourage interaction from Stinkin’ Cute Designs’ fans — it has 163 likes, 20 comments, and 1 share.

Bonus tip: To make your images more enticing, try using PicMonkey. It’s a free, simple photo-editing tool that lets you add text, overlays (including your logo), frames, and much more to your images. If you want to make images more fun and customizable, especially boring stock images, you can use PicMonkey to add quotes, funny captions, and anything else you’d like in minutes.

Try asking a question

Asking a relevant question is a great way to engage your readers, but, questions placed at the end of a post increased engagement by 15% over questions placed at the beginning, says Social Media Examiner.

“‘Where,’ ‘when,’ and ‘should,’ drive the highest engagement rates, with ‘would’ generating the most likes. Avoid asking ‘why’ questions, which have the lowest like and comment rates,” Social Media Examiner advises.

Pull back the curtain
How to engage Facebook fans

Urban Cookies, a bakery in Phoenix, AZ, used a status update to give fans a behind-the-scenes view of how they celebrate employee birthdays.

Giving your fans a glimpse of what goes on behind-the-scenes of your business can get a lot of engagement. It’s fun for your fans to see and it shows a more lighthearted, personal side to your business.

For example, you could take a picture of an employee outing, whether it’s to a happy hour, event, or elsewhere and let your fans see what your team looks like and where you go to unwind. You could also post pictures of how your products are made or of customers enjoying your products or services.

Urban Cookies, a bakery in Phoenix, AZ, created a status update to highlight a team member’s birthday. They posted a picture of the birthday girl and the balloon and cupcake-shaped card they got her. This post got 55 likes and 3 comments, proving that Urban Cookie’s fans love to see the other side of this popular bakery.

Offer fan-only perks

A huge draw of becoming a fan of a business on Facebook is for the special fan-only discounts and promotions offered. Try mixing a perk with other types of Facebook status updates to not only boost your engagement, but also get more customers into your store and/or website.

For example, if you have a restaurant, you could come up with a “secret” code word that only Facebook fans will know to receive a free appetizer before 7 p.m. that same day. Or, offer 10% off to your fans with a special promo code that can be used for online orders.

Incorporate current events
Facebook fan engagement

Four Peaks Brewing Company in Phoenix, AZ used a status update that successfully incorporated a current event (Shark Week) with one of their products (beer).

A great way to capitalize on the popularity of a current event or trend is by incorporating it into your posts — if you can organically relate it back to your business in some way.

For example, Four Peaks, a local brewery in Phoenix, Arizona, used the widespread love for Discovery Channel’s Shark Week to their advantage by creating a status update that showed one of their beers in a shark koozie with the caption, ‘How to celebrate Shark Week.’

A creative and marketing savvy post, it received an impressive 196 likes, 10 comments, and 18 shares.

Include action words

Did you know that by simply using certain words, you can get through to more fans?

“Buddy Media found that action keywords like ‘post,’ ‘comment,’ ‘take,’ ‘submit,’ ‘like,’ or ‘tell us,’ are the most effective,” says Social Media Examiner. “Be direct in your request, and fans will listen.”

Find your balance

Focusing solely on promoting your business will turn followers off fast – but never offering perks or showing customers what you have to offer may also make them question why they became a fan in the first place.

It’s an easy solution: Your business’ fan page needs to be an appropriate blend of status updates that appeal to your followers’ interests, teach them things, and/or entertain them, and promote your business. Be mindful of the posts that get the highest engagement (Facebook is ever so kind to point this out for you) to help you learn what your fans enjoy the most.

Your fans may have ignored you in the past, but maybe it’s because you never gave them a reason to pay any attention to you. So, stop complaining that Facebook “doesn’t work” and work a little harder on what you’re putting out there. Soon you’ll be saying, “They like me, they really like me.” Because they do.

What type of Facebook status updates work the best for you?